- May 11, 2020
- Dr. Peter Breggin
By Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin
Thirty-six years ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci was appointed director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). According to his Institute profile, “He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases” and he “has advised six presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues.” He is the “author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,300 scientific publications, including several textbooks.” Dr. Fauci is probably the most influential American in respect to anything that has to do with epidemic diseases, including our current struggle with COVID-19.
Nothing important or controversial happens at NIAID without Director Fauci knowing or learning about it. He determines, oversees, and guides the activities of the Institute, including setting its research priorities. That is his job description.
During the current epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become respected by many Americans as the most dedicated and reliable voice within a deluge of misinformation.
Everyone can see how hard he works to save our nation from the pandemic COVID-19.
Unfortunately, we have discovered that Dr. Fauci has enormous responsibility for the pandemic ever beginning in China. Most likely, it could not have happened without him. In addition, he is also responsible for enabling China to create biological weaponry that constitutes one of the greatest military threats that America and the free world now faces and will continue to face for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Fauci’s reputation continues to grow as the scientist whose Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funds clinical trials on remdesivir, supposedly America’s best hope for a cure. In the process, Fauci made himself point man for suppressing the safest, least expensive, and more reliable treatment available, hydroxychloroquine—while throwing his weight behind a less effective, more dangerous, and much more expensive alternative in remdesivir.
In evaluating Dr. Fauci’s motives, keep in mind that it is impossible to remain Director of the NIH Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 36 years and a consultant to six presidents without being deeply beholden and obedient to pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and sell antibiotics, antiviral agents, and vaccines. I began my professional career as a full-time Consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It was clear from the beginning that government health officials work as if industry and powerful lobbying groups are sitting on their shoulders, making their heads nod.
Fauci’s longevity is a testimonial to his responsiveness to the enormous power wielded by the pharmacological industry. That influence over him accounts for his suppressing tried-and-true treatments while promoting very expensive and experimental alternatives. It accounts for the egregious support he gave to research in collaboration with China that created deadly viruses, which gave the pharmaceutical industry more ability to make blockbuster vaccines.
Supporting an Unproven Financial Block Buster Drug Over the Tried and True
As the Director of the NIH’s Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has sponsored the clinical trials for the general antiviral agent, remdesivir, as the greatest hope for stemming the epidemic coronavirus. But while he has criticized President Trump in public for promoting hydroxychloroquine without clinical trials, he has been doing the same thing for remdesivir—promoting it without clinical trials. Now he has issued an official NIH/NIAID endorsement in a press release for remdesivir before the new trials have even been finished and before the data has been released to the public and the scientific community
Clearly, Fauci is a man on a mission—a mission to suppress one drug and to promote another. Trump has been ridiculed in the media for promoting hydroxychloroquine, an old and inexpensive drug with a great safety record in which he has no personal interest. Then Fauci should be reviled for promoting a relatively untried experimental drug with already-established dangerous adverse effects has a huge professional investment.
Furthermore, while Fauci has said we must have clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine before saying a good word about it —he has done nothing to conduct those relatively easy trials on this drug whose safety profile is extraordinary. In its place, he has rushed to sponsor remdesivir, an experimental drug that is obviously much more dangerous and vastly more expensive.
Shifting Primary Endpoints
When clinical trials are begun, the researchers are required to establish the “end points,” including a “primary endpoint,” which is the major measure of outcome and the main criterion for success. The endpoints for remdesivir are listed in the basic plan for the trials called the protocols. The original endpoints for proving the success of remdesivir included truly meaningful criteria, such as the all-important lowered fatality rate. As the trial continued, it must have become apparent that Fauci’s drug was not going to reduce fatality or meet its other criteria for success. Previous hoped-for outcomes, such as reduced death rate, were deleted from the end points. When the more meaningful criteria for success were dropped, the one primary marker for success became “time to recovery:”
1. Time to recovery [Time Frame: Day 1 through Day 29 ]
Day of recovery is defined as the first day on which the subject satisfies one of the following three categories from the ordinal scale: 1) Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - no longer requires ongoing medical care; 2) Not hospitalized, limitation on activities and/or requiring home oxygen; 3) Not hospitalized, no limitations on activities.
Not only did recovery time in days become the single primary criterion for improvement, “recovery” was achieved even with the patient remained in the hospital.
How much does the promotional NIH press release estimate the duration of the CoV-19 illness is shortened? “Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo.” That is, the drug took four days off the length of illness, but to achieve this conclusion they had to include patients still in the hospital. This few days reduction in illness is the same kind of claim made for the relatively ineffective flu treatment, Tamiflu.
The NIH study for remdesivir failed to show that it saved lives, but NIH and the media have emphasized that there was a “trend” in a positive direction. That’s an unscientific pipe dream. Scientifically, there was no statistically significant reduction in deaths from Fauci’s much-vaunted drug.
Finally, remdesivir must be given intravenously over a ten-day period. This procedure itself has risks. It also limits its use to patients sick enough to be hospitalized. As a result, it cannot be used as hydroxychloroquine is used around the world, as a prophylaxis and as a treatment to give at the earliest signs of the disease.
A May 7, 2020 survey of global physicians found that 55% were using hydroxychloroquine and 21% were using remdesivir. The survey concluded, “Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine are perceived as almost equally safe and effective.” But as noted, hydroxychloroquine is probably safer, has enormously greater treatment experience behind it, and it is given orally for prophylaxis and early treatment, while remdesivir is given intravenously to hospitalized patients.
Physicians are complaining about the growing political attacks on hydroxychloroquine. We believe that fake promotionals from NIH and the FDA will make remdesivir a financial bonanza to Gilead and those associated with the company. For decades, this is how drug profiteering has worked. Better, safer and much less expensive generic drugs are pushed aside by landslides of advertisements for FDA-approved new drugs, some of the promotion coming directly from government agencies as in this case.
Lancet 2020: Clinical Trials Find No Clinical Benefit and Serious Adverse Effects from Remdesivir
Meanwhile, controlled clinical trials conducted in China have found remdesivir ineffective, devoid of any statistically significant clinical improvements.
Interpretation In this study of adult patients admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19, remdesivir was not associated with statistically significant clinical benefits. (p. 1, bold in original).
In addition, despite the encouraging findings in non-clinical models, they found no antiviral effect for the drug in human patients:
Remdesivir did not result in significant reductions in SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads or detectability in upper respiratory tract or sputum specimens in this study.(p. 9)
Finally, Remdesivir produced very severe adverse reactions in the form of “respiratory failure” or “acute respiratory distress syndrome.” These findings mean that some patients were made worse by remdesivir, something we have not seen with hydroxychloroquine. Here is the summary of adverse events serious enough to cause discontinuation of remdesivir:
More patients in the remdesivir group than the placebo group discontinued the study drug because of adverse events or serious adverse events (18 [12%] in the remdesivir group vs four [5%] in the placebo group), among whom seven (5%) were due to respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome in the remdesivir group. (p. 10)
The Chinese study was published in the world’s oldest, most distinguish peer-reviewed journal, the British journal Lancet. If we simply called it “The Lancet Study,” it would sound stunningly more prestigious than calling it the China study. In contrast, Fauci’s NIH study has not passed peer review or been published anywhere—it hasn’t even been completed yet and scientists around the world cannot independently evaluate its data. We are asked to take its positive meager results on faith from Fauci and we have no idea about its adverse event profile.
The study in Lancet was funded by numerous sources, including the Chinese government, the British government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and by a drug company other than Gilead. Interestingly, NIH, including Fauci’s Institute, did not provide funding.
The gullible media has fawned over the NIH/NIAID press release of its unfinished, unpublished study with paltry results while largely ignoring the Chinese study in Lancet which found no statistically significant positive results. Fauci has dismissed the Chinese study while touting his own unfinished study with far from unimpressive results.
Fauci Should Be Supporting Hydroxychloroquine
Meanwhile, a corrupt VA study that claimed to show that hydroxychloroquine was useless in truth indicated that it was saving lives. When we re-evaluated the study, publishing a report and a video, we found that the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination was lifesaving. The VA evaluated one group of patients who did so well that they did not require any specific medication or ventilation. They were the most well of the coronavirus patients with the very lowest death risk. The VA study then evaluated a group of the sickest patients, the ones most likely to die, who were given the more hazardous drug combination hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
The Secretary of the VA had to make the TV rounds withdrawing the study as inadequate, while praising the success of the drug in helping VA patients, and memorialized his opinions in a memo on April 29, 2020.
How did the death rate of the sickest patients with combination drug treatment compare to the most well patients needing no drug treatment? There was no statistical difference in the death rates in the most well and the sickest groups. That is, the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination were so astonishingly effective that they reduced the death among the sickest to the level of the most well patients. That’s a potential miracle drug!
We need more valid studies of this combination drug regimen to test for its risk/benefit ratio. Nonetheless, when a study aimed at discrediting a drug combination unintentionally shows that it reduces the death rate of the sickest patients to the level of the most well patients, we need to take it serously.
Why does Fauci want us to wait for clinical trials for an inexpensive drug that seems to work, hydroxychloroquine, while he prematurely pushed a specific drug that would enrich a drug company without necessarily helping anyone—indeed, a drug that failed in its first peer-reviewed clinical trial in Lancet?
Fauci should have made hydroxychloroquine his biggest priority for a relatively quick and easy trial of a medicine that has been successfully used for many decades in several different infectious diseases, always maintaining a sterling safety record. After all, the drug was already being widely used to treat COVID-19 around the world and had numerous clinical testimonials and informal studies supporting it. We have made some of these available in our Coronavirus Resource Center on www.breggin.com. And why did he allow his influence to cause states like New York and Michigan to limit the availability of hydroxychloroquine to doctors?
What comes next in this report is powerful hint about how deeply in bed Fauci has become with the Gilead, the powerful, wealthy drug company that makes remdesivir.
Fauci’s Corrupt Panel
Fauci has a panel for the purpose of developing guidelines for treatment the epidemic on an ongoing basis. It is called “NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines.” All such federal panels or committees require disclosure of conflicts of interest—areas in which the panel members have financial ties, in this case, to drug companies, which were the sole financial conflicts listed. Of the 50 members, only 11 had financial ties to drug companies, but of the 11, nine had financial ties to Gilead. The ties consisted of “Research Support,” “Consultant,” and “Advisory Board.”
Most stunning perhaps, six of the Gilead people were getting “Research Support” from the drug company, meaning that their most treasured activity as scientists and professionals was dependent on Gilead’s good will.
It is no wonder that the remdesivir clinical trial was “sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)” and that it was “the first clinical trial launched in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.”
Not only was Gilead given a voting block on the panel, Fauci himself was already supporting Gilead’s drug with all his political and funding might. Fauci was so comfortably intimate with Gilead that he did not hesitate about shaming himself when he stacked the panel with company flaks and then personally promoted Gilead’s new product as the big hope for fighting the epidemic. If Fauci is shameless about such obviously tainted behavior, how many worse offenses would he be willing to perpetrate in secrecy?
How Fauci Is Responsible for the COVID-19 Pandemic
We broke the news that American scientists collaborating with Chinese Wuhan Institute scientists to create a deadly SARS-COVID virus with clinical effects surprisingly similar to the newer SARS-COVID-19. The joint American and Chinese scientific paper published in 2015 shows that they had funding from NIH’s Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That should give you a chill—Anthony Fauci is and was its director at the time.
We have written a blog and made a video about this collaborative research between US and Chinese scientists from the Wuhan Institute, and their governments, which helped the Chinese learn to work with and even to create epidemic viruses. Background research and newer papers by Chinese researchers continuing to make deadly viruses on their own can be found on our Coronavirus Resources Center. We also did our best to send our video and blog up the lines in Donald Trump’s direction and within a few days the president cancelled funding for the ongoing collaborative projects with China.
Perhaps most dismaying, Fauci’s Institute, despite published ethical concerns from independent scientists, specifically examined and approved these ongoing successful attempts in collaboration with the Chinese to build a virulent virus, capable of causing an epidemic.
In their published 2015 paper, the researchers themselves expressed doubt about creating virulent chimeric viruses—those made by joining nucleic acid fragments from two or more viruses. They also wondered if they were breaking the rules in doing so. But Fauci’s Institute exonerated them and allowed them to continue. Director Fauci would have been heavily involved in that decision-making because the researchers described their manufactured virus as highly infectious and virulent. His Institute was funding the project, along with the Chinese; and the project was giving the Chinese military access to America’s latest know-how and technology, which inevitably meant we were beefing up their biological warfare capacities.
Why would Fauci allow the continuation of this research which literally handed the Chinese the information and skills they need at the Wuhan Institute to create dangerous viruses, which could be accidentally released or purposely used in warfare against us or other enemies? The stated aim in the research paper, however bizarre and dangerous, was to create an especially virulent virus in order to find ways to treat such viruses with drugs and… vaccines. The US/Chinese collaboration in making deadly viruses was one of Fauci’s vaccine development projects. First the project created the deadly viruses and then it tried to make vaccines for them.
Neglected Warnings for the US/Chinese Research Making SARS-CoV Viruses
Unfortunately, the 2015 joint US and Chinese project found the newly created chimeric viruses resisted treatments. More threatening, they found that the vaccines not only failed, they made the animals worse! As far as we know, Fauci has never given this important data to the nation: that an NIH study showed it might be very difficult and even impossible to develop a vaccine for a SARS-CoV virus similar to the current epidemic virus.
The virus created in the lab showed the same clinical effects as the current epidemic virus: highly infectious, virulent, especially prone to attack the lungs, difficult to treat, and a threat to older people. It was even engineered from the very same horseshoe bats from which our current coronavirus is presumed to have come. Yet until we recently broke story with a blog and video, and other efforts to communicate, Fauci and the scientific establishment had managed to keep the study from drawing any attention.
Fauci As Most Responsible for the Epidemic
So why is Fauci probably the American most responsible for the pandemic virus that is afflicting the world? Whether or not the virus was manmade, it was probably accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. With that institute’s capacity to work so prolifically with viruses, or if Fauci and other authorities had not ignored its bad reputation in respect to safety, the leak might never have occurred.
In 2015, independent scientists showed concern that the American/Chinese collaborative research to create enhanced or “gain of function” viruses and urged that it was too dangerous continue. In response, Fauci’s NIAID then did a special review of the research and gave it a pass, allowing it to continue until Trump recently withdrew funding from it.
Suppose SARS-CoV-2 Was Not Release from the Wuhan Institute?
We began with the reasonable premise that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally released from the Wuhan Institute for Virology. But even if the virus originated spontaneously in a bat in a cave that bit someone, or in a market where a bat was bought and eaten, or in some other laboratory—Fauci has helped to create a monster that will threaten America and the world for the foreseeable future. China will not stop studying and tweaking viruses at Wuhan or other labs. They will always have the excuse we have used, that it is necessary to make dangerous viruses to enable us to protect against future viruses. Meanwhile, this research means that the Chinese government will always have the potential for making extremely powerful and threatening viral-epidemic weapons.
We can better appreciate what Fauci has done by comparing research on deadly viruses to research on atomic weapons. Official US policy discourages and even tries to force other governments from conducting research and development that might eventually lead to their building atomic weapons. Instead of these defensive policies—trying to protect us and the world from the dangers of proliferating atomic weapons—suppose we asked China or Russia or Iran to collaborate with us on developing increasingly powerful atomic weapons. Sounds bizarre! But that is what Fauci has done—he has financed research jointly with China with the stated purpose of developing more virulent viruses.
Are epidemic viruses potentially more potent weapons than atomic missiles? In some ways, yes. First, as we have discovered, it is difficult to determine if we have been attacked and if we are attacked it will probably be too late by the time we find out. In addition, the attack can paralyze the entire economy and thereby weaken our defenses. Further, if we remained unaware that the epidemic was inflicted on us by a covert attack, our preoccupation with fighting the epidemic could render us sluggish in responding to a more covert assault, for example, with atomic weapons.
Moreover, in preparation for inflicting the virus upon us as a weapon, the enemy could develop treatments and vaccines, making themselves immune to their own weapons. All this is terrifying, yes; but with no one else with scientific credentials and knowledge of research seems willing to warn about it. We feel the necessity to alert the nation.
Fauci is probably the man most responsible American in respect to the Wuhan Institute of Virology being able to carry on such advanced viral research. Instead of discouraging this collaborative research, he has given it financial, political and moral support. Whether or not the current epidemic virus was manmade, Fauci enabled and supported research in these areas involving Chinese scientists who have been given our technology.
If the virus was an accidental release, as we suspect, then he is the American most responsible for the Wuhan Institute’s capacity to work with these viruses, increasing the risk of a leak. Even if the current coronavirus came directly from nature, Fauci remains responsible for future tragedies related to accidental releases or warfare.
Meanwhile, he has already given the Chinese powerful biological weapons, deadly bargaining chips that can be used to intimidate or threaten us, and other nations. We should have no illusions about this. The Wuhan Institute for Virology is so heavily involved with the military that reportedly its new director appointed in early 2020 is China’s top military officer in biowarfare. Here is another one to be added as a link to the same sentence and to be put up on the Resource Center.
Fauci Could Have Slowed Down and Perhaps Closed the Wuhan Institute
Fauci, long ago, could have warned America and other Western governments that the building of the Wuhan Institute and its maintenance was a potential disaster that should not have encouraged. He could have made sure that American researchers did not collaborate with the Chinese on “gain of function” research to increase the potency of potentially epidemic viruses. Instead, he enabled and empowered the creation and maintenance of the Wuhan Institute and the transfer of know-how and technology from America to China.
What could Fauci have done differently?
As the Director of the NIH Institute for the Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has been the leading scientific consult to President Trump for closing-down America during this epidemic. If Fauci was able to spearhead the closing down of this great nation, he certainly could have ended American and international support for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, potentially shutting down that menace before it got off the ground. Instead, he lent his Institute’s political, financial, scientific and moral power to enabling the growth of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Chinese are still at work making new deadly viruses on their own. Relevant reports can be found in our Coronavirus Resource Center, including articles by Ge et al., 2013; Yang et al., 2016; and Hu et al., 2017. Dr. Fauci will share responsibility if and when any of these new Chinese chimeric viruses are accidentally released or if China unleashes them as weapons of war.
The best news is that within a few days of our disclosures about Fauci’s support for these disastrous joint American and Chinese efforts to successful create a deadly SARS-Cov-2 virus, President Donald Trump canceled funding for the research project. But Fauci’s legacy will live on indefinitely in the threats posed from Wuhan Institute of Virology which he helped to fund and to empower with American know-how and technology.